Archibeque: Surveyor’s Office can improve
EAGLE COUNTY — Ted Archibeque believes the Eagle County Surveyor’s Office can do more to help county residents. That’s why he’s running again for the office.
Archibeque, who owns a surveying company in Eagle, ran in 2010 against the current surveyor, Dan Corcoran. With Corcoran retiring after his current term expires, Archibeque is taking another run at the office.
Until a few weeks ago, it looked as if Archibeque would run unopposed. Then Kelly Miller, a surveyor in the county’s engineering department, launched an independent run for the office and gathered enough petition signatures to earn a spot on the ballot.
Archibeque believes the county would be better served if the surveyor’s job — a part-time position — was held by someone who isn’t a county employee.
“This is about representation, it’s about accountability,” Archibeque said.
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While some may wonder why the surveyor’s job is elected, and not an appointed position, Archibeque said voting on the surveyor’s job ensures that person will be accountable to voters, and not a board that appoints whoever holds the job.
But what does a county surveyor do?
The job description is fairly simple, according to the county’s website. The job entails checking the work of the county’s building, planning and engineering departments for accuracy and compliance with state and local regulations. The job is a little more complicated than the description, since errors on a map of a platted piece of property can affect the parcel’s size and ownership. And that means affecting the value of an asset.
Archibeque said his 10 years as the owner of his own company — and several years before that in the profession — have prepared him for the job. As a business owner who survived the economic downturn of 2008 and the virtual collapse of the local construction and development industries, Archibeque said he’ll look for more efficient ways to run even that part-time office.
The biggest change Archibeque would like to make is putting as much of the county’s survey and land plat information online as possible.
“There’s no reason to have to get in your car and drive to Eagle for this,” Archibeque said. “Right now you have to request (the information).”
Archibeque said counties that have put their records online have had positive responses from the public.
To most of us, though, a surveyor’s job is pretty esoteric stuff, and there aren’t many people in the business. What draws people to the precise measurement of property?
Archibeque, who grew up in the county, went to what was then Mesa State College in Grand Junction to study civil engineering. While there, he started with a survey crew and found he was attracted to the work.
“Surveying was a good fit for me — you get to spend a lot of time outdoors,” he said. Since Archibeque is an avid hunter, time spent in the open air is time well spent.
Ironically, though, “once you gain a lot of knowledge, you’re more valuable indoors,” he said.
Since announcing in April he’d run for the surveyor’s position, Archibeque has spent a lot more time outdoors, walking in parades and knocking on doors.
“It’s been fun,” he said of campaigning. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the Roaring Fork Valley this year and it’s a great place. I’d love to help create a Sopris County for them.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org and @scottnmiller.